The Hulk story to give the MCU the edge it needs might not be World War Hulk

The Hulks are back in the focus of Marvel for the first time in quite some time thanks to Disney plus’ new series, She-Hulk. Although it isn’t Bruce Banner, it is still a very much welcomed return for gamma radiation-powered heroes and foes alike. The last time any Hulk got a solo project outside comic books was in 2008 with The Incredible Hulk-which is very different from the Hulk that would be seen later on in Avengers and Thor. She-Hulk isn’t meeting the bar that many Marvel fans have seen for the MCU sadly, but it is still setting up many exciting things for the future of both of the Hulks. Most of all seem to be the tease of what is to come for the original angry green monster, Bruce Banner.

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Bruce Banner hasn’t gotten much solo time since The Incredible Hulk, which is strange considering how big of a character the Hulk is in the history of Marvel Comics. One of the biggest criticisms of the MCU’s treatment of the Hulk is how much of Hulk’s edge the character has lost, which has seemed to make him somewhat of a side character instead of a mainstay.

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But Hulk fans worry no more, big things seem to be coming Bruce’s way, in particular, some that may come from one of Hulk’s biggest stories from the comics, World War Hulk. It is an understatement to say World War Hulk is a book with massive scale in terms of the characters involved and the events that occur in the story. If fan speculations are correct that this story is where Bruce is heading, it is safe to say that Bruce won’t be overlooked for much longer.

But as appetizing as a massive World War Hulk series and/or movie sounds, when it comes to going deeper into the character of Bruce Banner and Hulk in the MCU World War Hulk may not be the best choice. That is not to say that World War Hulk is a poor choice, because it would be a great choice to go deeper with the Hulk giving him the attention he deserved in the beginning and even giving the MCU a bit of that edge back. But there is a comic book that if it were to be used in the MCU, would bring something fresh, and edgy, and introduce so much Hulk lore to MCU audiences that may not know too much about the character past what they’ve seen in the movies and series. To do all of those things seems impossible but in comes comic writer Al Ewing. As of now, he is not currently writing anything Hulk, but it was his run that was just recently wrapped that really brought him to the front of the line when it comes to fan appreciation and hype.

It is Al Ewing’s run on Immortal Hulk that absolutely catapulted both him and the character into the spotlight of comic books. Immortal Hulk was even the top-selling comic book at one point which is very impressive since Hulk comics typically don’t come near the numbers that the likes of Spider-Man and Batman do. But it’s easy to understand why fans gravitated to this book so much. This book involves a lot and is about a lot involving the Hulk. But a basic description of the overall story is after the events of Civil War 2 when Bruce Banner is supposedly killed, he-like many other comic book characters returns back to life. But that is where the book begins is a deep dive into the Hulk lore where Ewing explores why Hulk is Immortal, hence the title.

It is revealed that all gamma-powered characters are immortal and that gamma has connected them to The One-Below-All, mainly just the Devil. The series goes on an absolutely wild dive into all forms of Bruce Banner’s alters like Joe Fixit and Devil Hulk, villains like Abomination and The Leader, and even the concepts of good and evil. This is the absolute bare-bones way of describing this book without spoilers, and it does not do it justice. This book is easily one of the best comic book experiences that anyone could have.

But the reason why the MCU needs a story like this now is that this is everything that the MCU isn’t and is lacking at this moment, especially involving the Hulk. Immortal Hulk has engaged such a strong following with fans because it stretches into other genres like horror. This book has one of the few cases of Hulk killing anyone on purpose, and he does it by rejoining his severed body parts together but absorbing the man who severed him apart within his body. That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Immortal Hulk’s horror imagery. The book takes full advantage of his immortality and his ability to change shape from human to Hulk and back to human. It takes a deep dive into the bizarre and intense so much so that it’s nearly impossible to explain, only seeing it will do it justice.

The MCU has a big Hulking problem, and it seems to be trying to solve it. But the best answer to the question of where should the Hulk and the MCU go from here is Al Ewing Immortal Hulk. The book would be a new take, look, and mood for the MCU and a stepping stone into the deeper lore of the Hulk that the MCU hasn’t even begun exploring.

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